Sweet Salutations on Beltane. Merry May Day!
A day that involves flowers – you know how easily I can get behind that.
The first of May has been celebrated for millennia. The ancient Romans celebrated Flora, their goddess of flowers; and most often the emphasis of May Day celebrations is springtime fertility rites.
May Day/Beltane (or the night before) is celebrated as a cross-quarter holiday, half-way between the equinox and solstice. Often components of dancing and bonfires are included in festivals. At one time all the household fires were doused and then re-lit from the community bonfire. There’s something about that image that really appeals to me. Starting anew after a good Spring cleaning and connecting with community through a shared resource.
It’s also suggested that at this time the veil between the worlds is thin. But rather than having easier access to the ancestors as is true at the cross-quarter of Samhain, this is the time to peek into the faery world and commune with Nature spirits.
I also love the much-later tradition of May Day baskets filled with flowers and left anonymously on neighbor’s doorsteps. In this time of sequestering, wouldn’t it be an especially lovely thing to leave some flowers? Alas my garden is rather bare at the moment – the flowers have been slow to wake this year. However, today the first tree on the block burst into bud in that fabulous only-in-Spring shade of green. Beltane magic indeed!
May Day also is celebrated as International Workers’ Day and I’m proud to be a member of a family that has worked hard to promote fair labor practices and workers’ rights. It would be wonderful if we emerged from this period of global sequestering where it is so glaringly obvious how dependent we are on often unseen and usually underappreciated workers with a new commitment to equity and justice, and safe and compassionate working conditions for all.
As we start a new month, I’m welcoming these words from Hafiz:
”Spring and all its flowers now joyously break their vow of silence. It is time for celebration, not for lying low; You too — weed out those roots of sadness from your heart.”
I’m allowing my heart to be open to the magic of this time, understanding it’s looking different than before. And isn’t that really part of the magic? Inviting ourselves to see with new eyes. To appreciate in new ways,
Beltane has certainly always been a celebration associated with love. Love of all kinds – romantic of course, but also platonic, between family, between friends. Today is definitely a good day to reflect on all the love that exists in your life, express gratitude in whatever ways feel wonderful to you, and ponder all the ways you’ll commit to nurturing and growing love in all its forms.
How will you celebrate this first day of the a new month? What energy are you inviting in? Do tell – you know I love to hear.